November 20, 2020


Kemin acquires the US patent for Sal CURB as a tool against ASF virus in feed


Kemin acquired the US patent application for a method to control the ASF virus in feed and feed ingredients using Sal CURB, a global pathogen control product, also known to inhibit the Salmonella in complete feed and feed ingredients.



African Swine Fever (ASF) is one of the most significant animal diseases to have occurred in recent times and it has a dramatic impact on the industry. The first outbreak was reported in China in Aug 2018. The rapid spread of ASF across several countries in the APAC region has led to the death of millions of pigs and resulted in less pork available on the market. The low supply of pork eventually leads to increasing prices of pork for the consumers. Analysts have estimated that ASF could cost Asia as much as US$130 billion.


Many animal nutrition and health companies played substantial roles in responding to this threat by offering timely solutions to prevent the spread of the virus to ease the challenges faced by producers and consumers. Kemin's approach to this viral disease was to work in partnership with institutions to investigate the efficacy of their portfolio of products against the African Swine Fever virus (ASFv) in feed and feed ingredients through various research and trials.


Dr. Scott Dee, Director of Research at Pipestone Veterinary Clinic, together with Dr. Megan Niederwerder and his colleagues from the Kansas State University, verified that an array of viral pathogens could survive in feed ingredients under simulated transboundary shipping models. ASvF was among the pathogens examined in the study and was shown to remain stable and infective in a wide array of feed ingredients, posing a high threat to the global agriculture industry. Dr. Niederwerder's continued research on ASFv enabled him to determine that the plausible means of infection was through the feed and water.


Dr. Niederwerder and his colleagues also discovered that the formaldehyde-based liquid antimicrobial product, Sal CURB, effectively inactivates ASFv in feed ingredients and livestock feed. "Our research reports data evaluating the efficacy of the feed additives on inactivating ASFv in an in vitro cell culture model and a feed ingredient transoceanic shipment model," said Niederwerder. "This will provide valuable information to the swine industry with regards to mitigating the risk of ASFv being introduced or transmitted through feed and feed ingredients."


Sal CURB was tested in a cell culture model to identify the lowest inclusion rate to inactivate the ASFv. The researchers discovered a dose-response for Sal CURB, with no virus detection at 0.35% inclusion. Subsequently, studies with live pigs were also conducted to determine if Sal CURB would prevent ASFv infection via feed. It was proven that Sal CURB is effective in inactivating ASFv in feed and feed ingredients. Sal CURB significantly impacts the presence of genetic material in feed and has shown to lower the virus titers.

Based on the new research data, Kemin acquired the US patent application for a method to control ASFv in feed and feed ingredients using Sal CURB, a global pathogen control product, also known to inhibit the Salmonella in complete feed and feed ingredients. The data supporting the patent application was incorporated into the paper titled "Mitigating the Risk of African Swine Fever Virus in Feed with Antiviral Chemical Additives" and published in the Transboundary and Emerging Diseases journal.

"Multiple sources of data to verify product efficacy is critical for us as well as for our partners, so we chose to collaborate with several veterinary institutes in Europe, Asia and the US to understand how our products might work against ASFv." mentioned Alex De Leon, Head of Technical Services at Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health, Asia Pacific. For instance, Kemin had also collaborated with the National Institute for Veterinary Research in Vietnam to conduct several trials and have received positive results on the efficacy of Sal CURB™ against ASFv in feed.

"Although the feed is a significant means of ASFv transmission, whereby a high number of animal exposure to this vector increases the likelihood of infection dramatically. We should not overlook addressing other areas that would pose risks to the safety of the animals' health," says Kin Ken Chew, Product Manager at Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health, Asia Pacific. "A focus on one aspect is not an effective strategy. To reduce the spread of the virus would involve a combination of solutions. We recommend Kemin's 3D approach program to combat the spread of ASFv."

In Kemin's 3D approach program, the first strategy is to have good biosecurity measures placed at the farm level. The team at Kemin actively seeks to educate our partners on the measures to increase farm biosecurity. The second strategy is to ensure that safe feed enters the farm, and this is where we recommend Sal CURB, as studies have demonstrated that it is effective to inactivate ASFv in feed and feed ingredients. The third strategy involves looking at the pigs that experience challenges to their immune systems. They have a higher risk of contracting ASF, and therefore, it is recommended to supplement their diets with products such as Aleta™ to support their immune function.

"We have received excellent feedback from our partners and found that there is a strong interest in our pathogen control program globally, due to growing consumer demand for safe food," says Chew. "The awareness, to mitigate the ASFv risks in feed, has grown significantly, and it is now the responsibility of the industry to help ensure that farms would receive pathogen-free feed.
(From left) Alex De Leon, Head of Technical Services and Kin Ken Chew, Product Manager; Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health, Asia Pacific